Tip: How to Start FaceTime Calls from the Browser

Apple uses various URL schemes on both iPhone as well as Mac to assign pre-defined actions to certain URLs like Maps, iTunes, YouTube etc. Notice how clicking on YouTube links leaves the browser and launched YouTube app on iPhone. We can similarly take advantage of the FaceTime URL scheme to start FaceTime calls from the browser or create links on webpages.

If you haven’t setup FaceTime on your iPhone or Mac yet then use these guides to get FaceTime working right away:

Web site owners will find this particularly useful as you can place a link in your website, resume, portfolio, blog etc. Just like a link to email you, you can add a link to make a FaceTime call to you.

Also, we can use the URL for creating shortcuts on our computer to directly start FaceTime call with someone. Combined with an Automator script, this could be used to make automated calls from the Mac at specified time/event.

Facetime browser url scheme

How to use the FaceTime URL scheme:

Both on Mac or iPhone, if you try to point the browser to any URL starting with facetime:// instead of http:// it will try to initiate a FaceTime call. So we could use any of the following three formats as required:

  • facetime://appleid
  • facetime://email address
  • facetime://phone number

So for example, you could write facetime://[email protected] or facetime://+919430012345 to start FaceTime calls.

As you might already know, FaceTime uses phone numbers to identify iPhone users and Apple ID or email address to identify iPod Touch, iPad and Mac users. Read more about how Facetime works here.

FaceTime URL Demo:

If you are on a Mac with FaceTime installed or reading this via iPhone’s Safari browser, you can play with the sample link below I created for you. Obviously, no one will answer your call since I used fake addresses.

Your device should prompt you for FaceTime like the screenshots below.

Facetime url scheme iphone example Facetime url scheme mac example

How do you like this tip and how are you going to use FaceTime URL shortcuts?